Dorset
The village square of Corfe Castle on the main road between Wareham and Swanage. This is a really picturesque village which is well worth a visit, as is the ruined castle that dominates the village.
     With its quaint pictuesque villages, stone cottages and varying landscape and location near and on the south coast of England, Dorset is John's favourite English county.

    Even the names of the towns and villages seem different to anywhere else, for example :- Belchalwell, Piddlethrenthide, Puddle Town, Bryant's Puddle, Affpuddle, Turners Puddle and the River Piddle !!!! :-)
I bet there aren't many people who know that Scotland is actually located in Dorset not far from Swanage ! It's true... many years ago I found it on an old ordinace survey map, a small area called Scotland not far from Wych Farm on the road from Studland to Corfe Castle.

     How wonderful it would be to live in the County of Dorset, with all those wonderful old pubs and beautiful countryside. Unfortunately with house prices in this area being what they are, we would be lucky to be able to buy a cow shed !!!
     Corfe Castle is a really charming village. There are a number of very nice pubs, one particular one we can recommend is the "Greyhound" in the village square, and another is the Castle Inn at 63 East Street. In both places we have had good food at a good price, and very good friendly service, especially at the Castle Inn.
A visit to the castle is worthwhile, although being National Trust property some people may think the price to be a bit on the slightly expensive side to view a ruin . However, once in, it we found it very enjoyable imagining how it probably was in its heyday. The views from the top of the mound are really fantastic on a clear day.

     There is also a model village at Corfe Castle, and the preserved Swanage Railway has a station there where one can take a trip to  either Swanage or Norden, not far from the village where there is a park and ride site. Parking in Corfe Castle village is not easy in the tourist season.
     Swanage is a delightful seaside town, located on the so called Isle Of Purbeck, which one wouldn't note as being an island ! The Isle of Purbeck lies between Weymoth in the west and Poole harbour in the east. This area is famous for it's Purbeck stone, china clay and its geological diversity.

     The beaches at Swanage are sandy and are safe for swimming, thanks to the shelter of Swanage bay. Apart from lazing on the beach all day (who'd want to do anything else) there are many things to see in the area. One can take a trip on a take a boat trip, a fishing trip, spend some money in the amusement arcade, do some shopping in the quaint town, walk to Durleston Head, walk over Ballard Down to Studland or if the thought of excercise is exhausting--- take a ride on the steam railway from Swanage station to Corfe Castle and Norden, trains run at regular intervals throughout the spring, summer and autumn seasons. Swanage is also a handy place for a holiday (camping or B&B) as it is not far from other interesting places to visit ie:- Monkey World, Bovington Camp tank museum, The Blue Pool, Wareham, Studland, Poole and Bournemouth. Another "activity" for those of us who hate extreme physical exertion is sitting on Swanage pier in a folding chair and doing a bit of fishing for a few hours, or if that doesn't grab you fancy, I can recommend lying on the beach soaking up the sun ! :-)
A look along part  of Swanage beach towards the town and Peveril Point ( in the background, way off to the left), there is much more beach than this !
A visiting sailing ship heading across the bay after leaving the pier. I wish I could tell you more about this ship, but I have forgotten the name and details.
 
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